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Launch of new Nordic distribution unit

By Carl Kristian Johansen Posted: 21. Nov, 2019

Together with the American company Secretly Group, ex-Phonofile employees and shareholders are launching a new distribution unit.

The operation is named Secretly Noord. The brand is owned by Secretly Group and will be run by NoordRights.

Secretly Distribution, which has existed since 1996, is part of the Secretly Group, which consists of the record companies Dead Oceans, Jagjaguwar, Secretly Canadian, and Secretly Publishing.

Erik Brataas and Trond Tornes, who both helped build the digital distributor Phonofile in Norway and the Nordic countries before the company was sold to the Sony Music-owned company The Orchard, are among the founders and co-owners of NoordRights.

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– This is a special Christmas treat and a kinder egg for us. NoordRights will receive a ready to go set up for distribution in the US, Europe and Asia, while NoordRights can provide Secretly with a solid starting point in the Nordic countries. In addition, NoordRights will be provided with a long-term owner with financial muscles and a clear indie agenda, says Trond Tornes, CEO of NoordRights.

Long-term ambitions
Secretly Distribution will enter with a 10% stake in Secretly Noord.

– What are the goals and ambitions of which Secretly Group entering into this new operation?

– It has been Secretly Distribution’s constant focus to make the big music marketplace accessible to quality-oriented small and medium-sized companies, as the vitality and diversity of culture depends on the contributions of companies of this size. Our partnership with NoordRights is another important step towards increasing our capabilities in this regard, and it helps establish a truly independent path to market in the Nordics that is future-facing and unencumbered by approaches of the past. We look very much forward to a long-term collaboration with the team that previously brought some of the most culturally important labels and artists in the Nordics to the rest of the world, says Darius Van Arman, Co-CEO of Secretly Distribution.

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– Secretly has a clear indie agenda. Now they see an open market for indie distribution in the Nordic countries, after the indie distributors were bought by major companies. In addition to this we believe that they will have a lot to add as the co-owner of Secretly Noord, also in the other fields NoordRights will build new tools for, says Tornes.

– What can Secrety Noord offer Norwegian companies in the US market?

– If you have the plan and the product we will do our part. Given the match with the market, relevant quality and relevant resources for marketing, Norwegian companies may experience getting international sales support where the Nordic leader has in-depth knowledge of indie music. In example, pitches could be written by Secretly Noord and adapted to international markets through the system, says Tornes.

Bringing along lessons from Phonofile
From the Phonofile period Tornes brings with him the experience from Norwegian indie music being a quality product with international appeal.

– As long as we could place the music into a relevant context, plan long-term, do active promotion and marketing with clearly allocated resources, we were able to produce results.

– We also managed to set the framework for an international organization with relatively simple means. In addition, we have been able to develop relevant technological tools time and time again with modest resources, to meet the new digital challenges of the Norwegian record companies. Co-founder of NoordRights, Trond Stian Evensen Førde has valuable experience from this field. Finally, I would also like to mention something that we started seeing the outlines of in our previous work, namely the opportunities for joint analysis for small and medium-sized indie companies, where market data can be read from a commonly and shared platform, says Tornes.

Secretly Noord will be operational from December.

Pernille Dragsten Holden and Jarle Savio, both former Phonofilers, are also part of the newly founded operation, as are Daggan Stamenkovic and Torny Gottberg who represented Phonofile in Sweden and have helped found NoordRights.


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